Apple and Disney threaten to crush cable TV

“It is an especially bad time to be in the cable TV business,” Jon Markman writes for TheStreet. “Viewership is shrinking, and now major technology companies are looking to pick off even more customers.”

“Apple is set to launch a new streaming TV service, according to an Oct. 23 report from The Information,” Markman writes. “Major technology companies are targeting cable TV because they have a distinct advantage, and the industry is especially vulnerable. Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Google have sunk millions into building better technology. Consequently, they have millions of happy customers milling around in their ecosystems. These users understand the product. They like customer service. Selling them a TV subscription is a no brainer. And streaming technology has finally reached the stage at which it is reliable.”

“Apple plans to offer a service similar to Amazon’s Channels. The idea is users can select the channels they want and pay a monthly fee. The company will bundle content from the likes of HBO, Showtime, AMC, CBS and others, plus throw in its shows as they come on stream. It will be completely transparent, and backed by Apple customer service,” Markman writes. “This year, Disney finalized its $71.3-billion acquisition of most of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox. The deal gives the company control of the country’s third-largest movie studio, the Fox TV network (minus cable news), and cable networks FX and National Geographic. The new House of Mouse will be the biggest media network ever assembled. Disney has a long standing relationship with Apple. It is probably more than coincidence both companies are promising to enter streaming at the same time.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why just threaten? Do it, please!

And, while you’re at it, maximize the crushing, too!

Apple plans to launch TV streaming service first in the U.S., then swiftly expand globally with free original content – October 23, 2018
Apple plans to give away original content for free to device owners as part of new digital TV strategy – October 10, 2018
Disney to pull all its movies from Netflix and start its own streaming services; will also launch an ESPN video streaming service – August 8, 2017


  1. Always wondered why Apple didn’t team up with Disney sooner rather than later given that Steve Jobs had the largest share of Disney stock in the universe from the Pixar deal.

  2. The studios also want to crush streaming platforms so you’ll need even more subscriptions to watch your favourite shows. Obviously, piracy was a content affordability and availability issue so I expect a BitTorrent renaissance in the coming years.

    1. Comcast sells me 1 TB of data a month. I have Amazon Prime, HBO Now, YouTube TV, PBS streaming and my iTunes purchased content and have never come close to going over the cap.

      You can go over without charge a couple of times a year. Beyond that they sell you extra data at a rate of $10 for 50GB.

      I do not like caps, but they have adopted a reasonable policy.

  3. Sadly, it will never come to Canada (unless huge changes happen), except for maybe Apple’s own programming. Hulu like service is locked out here by the exclusive content licenses held by the broadcast TV providers (cable and phone companies). The CRTC seems more interested in protecting their profits than moving toward what viewers actually seem to want. Question (again): why, except for live events, are we broadcasting pre-recorded entertainment? It’s all sitting on servers anyway. The reason in Canada is that the tv service providers want you to buy a premium package with their DVR to enable you to watch what you want when you want, instead of allowing you to stream content. There are a handful of streaming apps offered by some of the channels (owned by the tv service providers) that allow you to stream (with a gazillion commercials that cannot be skipped) some tv content. If you are not buying their TV service, there are shows available to watch starting from the day after the broadcast showing for 1 week, then they are locked to all except tv broadcast service customers. Some content is simply not available, except as premium ad ons to broadcast tv service accounts. One of the two main providers (one cable and one phone company) has a paid streaming app which has mostly older premium content (often one or two seasons behind current broadcasts, and sometimes leaving out seasons as a reason to buy their full tv service).

    Sorry for the long post. I cut tv services a couple years ago. The plus is more time with real people and real relationships. There is enough out there to have something to watch (legally) when you really want to.

  4. In the last five years Apple could not come close to crushing the Pro PC market that is now much less expensive and much more powerful with the greatest industrial designer on the planet payroll. Jony is more concerned with personal design awards and books in addition to the oohs and aahs adulation from the design crowd — OVER rewarding loyal customers with the best tools at the best price.

    So, with all the streaming services already well established years ahead of Apple they need a Svengali act to pull it off. As we have seen with the late to market HomePod costing more and offering less, poorly designed TV remote, I can only hope this service will not follow the same pattern and make the same mistakes.

    The last time Apple was late to market, yet on day one of a new product launch (iPhone) defied the odds and totally passed the competition light years ahead and justified the higher price. The iWatch was close but it was also started by Steve and took four models to truly stand out. I have little faith in pipeline making it happen anywhere near Steve’s capability…

  5. Steve Jobs would have done this deal much quicker if he was alive. Eddie Cue doesn’t have the same negotiating skills as Steve. Tim moves at a snails pace and is a terrible CEO. So this is WHY it has taken so long to do something that should have been done within a year of Steve saying “I finally figured it out”

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.